Tuesday night, the Penn men’s lacrosse team took a short break from its grueling conference schedule, but it was hardly restful.
The Quakers (1-8, 0-4 Ivy) visited in-state foe Bucknell (9-4) for a respite from Ivy play, but found only an onslaught of offense.
The No. 18 Bison systematically picked the Red and Blue apart, building a solid lead and cruising to a convincing 8-3 victory.
Bucknell had four different players score unassisted goals in the first 23 minutes of the game, while the Quakers seemed at a loss in the offensive zone.
“Of their five first half goals, four of them came off of rides, ground balls and other broken, non-traditional plays,” Penn coach Mike Murphy wrote in an email.
Penn didn’t get on the board until just 3:58 remained in the first half, when junior attack Tim Schwalje finished a feed from junior defense Anthony Santomo.
The Bison rocketed one more past Penn sophomore goaltender Brian Feeney before the half, and the Quakers went into the locker room down, 5-1.
“Their defense did a good job of sliding early and covering up inside, and we didn’t do a good job of getting it to the backside quickly,” Murphy wrote. “We were also sloppy with our stick work on offense and didn’t shoot the ball very well.”
Things didn’t get much better for the Red and Blue after the break.
Senior midfield Dan Savage added a goal halfway through the third quarter to cut the deficit to three, but there was no doubt the Bison were in control.
Both teams held each other scoreless for the rest of the period, and the stagnant Quakers carried little momentum into the final frame.
The Bison tacked on two more scores in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter to make the score 7-2. The game was effectively over.
The two squads traded goals to finalize the score at 8-3.
Penn will need to right the ship very quickly if it doesn’t want the season to be effectively over.
But Murphy is confident in his team’s ability to do just that.
“The ironic thing is that we still have a shot at the post-season,” Murphy wrote. “If we beat Harvard and Dartmouth, and a few other reasonable things happen, we could be the fourth seed in the Ivy Tourney.”
“We know we’re a good team but we have really only played one complete game, when we beat UNC. When we play like that, we’re dangerous, but we’ve been very inconsistent to date.”
With just four games left in the season, there’s no time to take a break.
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